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Thread: CAD newbie

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    Default CAD newbie

    Hi guys,

    I currently attend college for Networking, and work full time in IT. I was thinking about changing careers to drafting/engineering.

    What would be the best way to "get my feet wet" and decided if this is something I would like to pursue?

    The reason for wanting to leave IT is, you're never really "clocked out". I'm on call 24/7, and that's not something I want to do.

    Thanks!

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict cadtag's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAD newbie

    Sensible, I went from CAD to IT, and got incredibly frustrated with IT and returned to full time CAD.

    It's not really the CAD part that's important though, it's (A) being able to draw and communicate design intent graphically, and (B) understanding design. So the better question is what kind of design would you be interested in working with? Architectural? Civil? Manufacturing? Residential? Theme parks? The IT background helps, because the design tools are computer based, but the key is drafting and design.
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    Default Re: CAD newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    Sensible, I went from CAD to IT, and got incredibly frustrated with IT and returned to full time CAD.

    It's not really the CAD part that's important though, it's (A) being able to draw and communicate design intent graphically, and (B) understanding design. So the better question is what kind of design would you be interested in working with? Architectural? Civil? Manufacturing? Residential? Theme parks? The IT background helps, because the design tools are computer based, but the key is drafting and design.
    Not sure, possibly manufacturing.

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    AUGI Addict Railrose's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAD newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by lavallee.nm View Post
    Not sure, possibly manufacturing.
    Do you have access to a factory, or other facility that would allow you to work as an intern, or assistant for a while to give you some time with it? You could talk to the school counselor & they may have ideas on places for you to explore the ideas.
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    Default Re: CAD newbie

    Not sure if thing are different these days, but

    When I started I took drafting classes at the local vocational school. Learned drafting on board and CAD (today it would be just CAD for sure). The class didn't focus on one industry. So we got a sample of everything. After finishing up I decided I liked civil more then architectural or manufacturing.

    So if you could find a CAD class that goes over a little bit of everything that may give you a better idea.
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    Default Re: CAD newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Railrose View Post
    Do you have access to a factory, or other facility that would allow you to work as an intern, or assistant for a while to give you some time with it? You could talk to the school counselor & they may have ideas on places for you to explore the ideas.
    Well unfortunately, I work full time M-F so I wouldn't have time to intern. But I do work in a plastics factory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenndp View Post
    Not sure if thing are different these days, but

    When I started I took drafting classes at the local vocational school. Learned drafting on board and CAD (today it would be just CAD for sure). The class didn't focus on one industry. So we got a sample of everything. After finishing up I decided I liked civil more then architectural or manufacturing.

    So if you could find a CAD class that goes over a little bit of everything that may give you a better idea.
    Hm, I'll see if my community college (where I attend school) offers a class.

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    Thumbs up Re: CAD newbie

    cadtag has a good point, you really need to know how to draft, and know how to make/build what you're designing.

    I got into this career (full time) about 12 years ago, but had been board drafting (house designs, etc) a little for years before on the side. I had taken several drafting and design courses through the years and finally, after working in a manufacturing environment as a technician for 14 years, enrolled in an Associates degree program for Technical Graphics and Design. Then got a few jobs doing this stuff and worked my way up.

    To make a long story (longer) ... if you really want to do this, figure out what you really want to design, and enroll in the right courses. Then get a job doing it. And don't expect to start out at the top in your field. Find a job you can work along side a "power user" and pay attention, ask questions.

    Good luck!
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    I could stop if I wanted to Misteracad's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAD newbie

    Please don't enter this field because you know computers and think it might apply. We already have too many CAD users in this industry who don't know basic drafting or have the capability to visualize a design in their mind and put it on paper in a way that others can be sure to build from it.

    Engineering drafting and design is an art form, and a skill that I feel is not always one that can be learned. If you have some level of artistic talent and an eye for detail, so be it, maybe this is for you, but I've tried teaching some students who just never got it and would never succeed in this field. Only time will tell and there is no harm in trying I suppose, but food for thought neverthless Think long and hard before you leap.
    Timothy S. Kramer
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    Default Re: CAD newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Misteracad View Post
    Please don't enter this field because you know computers and think it might apply. We already have too many CAD users in this industry who don't know basic drafting or have the capability to visualize a design in their mind and put it on paper in a way that others can be sure to build from it.

    Engineering drafting and design is an art form, and a skill that I feel is not always one that can be learned. If you have some level of artistic talent and an eye for detail, so be it, maybe this is for you, but I've tried teaching some students who just never got it and would never succeed in this field. Only time will tell and there is no harm in trying I suppose, but food for thought neverthless Think long and hard before you leap.
    Prior to getting into computers, I was into art. (and wanted to go to art school)

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    I could stop if I wanted to Misteracad's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAD newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by lavallee.nm View Post
    Prior to getting into computers, I was into art. (and wanted to go to art school)
    Good to hear...you'll have an advantage then over those who don't have either skills as part of their background. Personally, as a CAD guy working in the IT dept, I think the industry needs more overlap of those with advanced CAD skills working closely with those in IT who keep our systems/networks running and in good order. It's actually a rare thing these days, but hopefully becoming more common as companies see the value in such overlap. Hopefully that will work in your favor. Good luck!
    Timothy S. Kramer
    MEP CAD/BIM Manager

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    "You don't know what you don't know!"

    What am I doing HERE??? I should be riding my Road King!

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